Best NBA First Basket Scorer Picks for Tuesday, May 14 (Target Nikola Jokic)

Here's who you should bet to score the first basket in the NBA playoff matchups on Tuesday, May 14.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Looking for a quick hit bet for the NBA playoff action on Tuesday night?

There are two crucial Game 5 matchups between the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, and I have a player that I'm targeting to score first in each matchup.

Betting on a first basket scorer is tough, as there is a lot of randomness involved, but if we can hit one of the plays tonight, we'll be cashing in on some very favorable odds:

NBA First Basket Scorer Picks and Predictions

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+380)
  • Andrew Nembard First Basket Scorer (+800)

Nikola Jokic First Basket Scorer (+380)

Nikola Jokic dominated for the Denver Nuggets in Game 4, scoring 35 points, and he’s been an elite first basket scorer all season long. 

Jokic has 17 first baskets, and he’s taking the first shot 21.6 percent of the time for Denver.

Given how often Denver runs the offense through the league MVP, Jokic is worth a shot in this market, especially with Rudy Gobert struggling to contain him the last two games. 

Andrew Nembard First Basket Scorer (+800)

This is a bit of a long shot, but the Indiana Pacers’ guards have been able to get to the rim whenever they want against the Knicks, especially when the team gets out and runs.

Andrew Nembhard, who hit a huge shot to win Game 3, has six first baskets on the season – the second most on Indiana and the third most of any player in action in this game – and he takes the first shot of the game 6.5 percent out of the time.

Outside of Jalen Brunson and Myles Turner, no other player really has been a consistent first basket scorer amongst these teams. So, why not take a shot on Nembhard, who is third in first baskets this season but eighth in the odds?

He’s a value play on Tuesday night.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.